Features of heritage governance
- First, outsourcing: many functions of heritage preservation, such as cataloguing, or inventorying, restoration, are outsourced to private (whether profit or not for profit) actors. This strategy offers higher flexibility and efficiency compared to a capillary system of public employees and offices.
- Second, there is a high degree of devolution: regional and local actors are given both power and responsibility in managing their own region’s or city’s heritage. This happens with a view to recognising the specific needs of each local reality as well as its potential. It also privileges a stronger sense of ownership of heritage by local and regional communities. The aim is to cut red tape and allow for heritage to also become a lever of both cultural and economic development.
- Third, there is an increasing tendency towards managerialisation in the governance of heritage. While experts have become less powerful in the governance of heritage, the role of managers (of museums, libraries, cultural foundations) becomes increasingly important as there is an expectation that each cultural institution shows a high degree of autonomy as well as self-sustainability.
Cultural Heritage and the City
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